Yesterday was Australia Day. Given that Australia isn't a Republic (yeah, they still pay the Queen to use the Union Jack in their flag and to use her image on their currency... oh, and Prince William just made a 3-day rockstar tour here too. Not bad in exchange for paying them off. HAHA.) (Oh dear, my Ozzy friends are gonna clobber me now. I am only joking).
Ozzy Ozzy Ozzy! OY! OY! OY! (By the way, I thought all along that this phrase was a JOKE. But evidently it's not. Everybody was going around town yesterday shouting this out. It was really funny.)
Anyways, Teacher was really pushing everyone hard yesterday. She made one of my friends do 6 dropbacks (that's double her regular practice)... and she made me do handstands and dropovers to backbend - THREE times. Handstands aren't a regular part of my practice - if Teacher's Assistants are helping me with whatchamacallitasanas-crossed hands on chest and dropback- then they usually don't get me to do handstands afterwards.
Only if Teacher herself is assisting me, she'll sometimes get me to do handstands/ dropovers. I think she checks out my energy level first and determines whether I can go for it or not.
I was fine after the first one, then she said "Again". I was like ?!? (I've only ever done them once at a time). So OK... I did it again.
After the second one, she said "Again".
This time, I was like ?!?!?????@$&^$&!@(*$???
She physically dragged me from the top of my mat to the back of it coz I think I was digging my heels in. HAHA. I said out loud "SERIOUSLY? AGAIN?!?" (my friend who had just done 6 dropbacks and nursing her jelly legs by now heard me from across the room. Heh.)
Teacher said "Well, what are you doing after this? It's a holiday today, right? So... do it again." Phwoar. She can be pretty hardcore.
I forgot, or more like I couldn't find my bandhas on the 3rd go. HAHAHA. So I fell out, and had to jump up AGAIN. She let me hold for only 2 counts on the final handstand. At least she's kind too.
ANYWAYS... After TODAY's practice, she asked me how I felt today, and whether yesterday's handstands wiped me out. I actually felt pretty OK today, not too tired at all. So Teacher said "Good. Your stamina's coming along." ...and then she said she knows she gave me a good whack of poses in one shot in intermediate (remember when she gave me Salabhasana to Parsva Dhanurasana in one go?) - and she said this makes it really intense, but good for building stamina.
Ohhhhhhhh. My Teacher is wise.
And interestingly, now that I'm back to a more regular practice schedule this week, these Parsva Dhanurasanas are starting to feel a bit more real ("Real" in the "I own it!" sense). I mean... that final Dhanurasana initially made me feel like I was going to die and brought up all these angry thoughts... but the past couple days I've been starting to feel the length and extension in the pose. My mind is a little more quiet now too. :)
On a different note, I came across this hilarious picture of a boy dressed as... er... a helmet-less Darth Vader. Geez, I think his parents must have a pretty sick sense of humour (and I like it).
(Picture from here)